Marion Harris


Born in Brazil in 1963, Carlos DeMedeiros grew up in a small fishing village near Rio de Janeiro. Leaving home in his late teens, he entered religious life, becoming a monk in rural Boliva -- still one of the poorest places in South America.

After 14 years, he reluctantly left the monastery for a secular life -- conflicted by his own idea of religion and the one he was obliged to follow. As a way of coming to terms with this ambivalence, DeMedeiros constructs miniature confessionals from found objects. Reaching into his own religious history and experiences, he shines a bright light into an often dark place hidden from most of us.

While the imagery is at first sight simple, the subtext is complex and multi-layered. The actual narrative, the unseen confession, remains a written secret. During the recent Outsider Art Fair in 2011, DeMedeiros found that the dynamic of his work changed unexpectedly. Bordering on performance art, in a pursuit more private than secret, DeMedeiros listened to the spontaneous real confessions of gallery visitors who found themselves drawn to him in order to share their stories in a private setting.

With his constructed confessionals DeMedeiros reveals a stark truthful reality. In a different ongoing series he allows his imagination to show itself with miniature scenarios constructed inside discarded empty Altoids tins. These surreal tableaux, careful compositions of found tiny objects, give us entry into another world. Visible only when the lid is lifted, they could almost be tiny stage sets for the theater of the absurd.

2011 Marion Harris | By Appointment | 1225 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10128 | 212.348.9688